Additive manufacturing (AM) offers customization of the microstructures and mechanical properties of fabricated components according to the material selected and process parameters applied. Selective laser melting (SLM) is a commonly-used technique for processing high strength aluminum alloys. The selection of SLM process parameters could control the microstructure of parts and their mechanical properties. However, the process parameters limit and defects obtained inside the as-built parts present obstacles to customized part production. This study investigates the influence of SLM process parameters on the quality of as-built Al6061 and AlSi10Mg parts according to the mutual connection between the microstructure characteristics and mechanical properties. The microstructure of both materials was characterized for different parts processed over a wide range of SLM process parameters. The optimized SLM parameters were investigated to eliminate internal microstructure defects. The behavior of the mechanical properties of parts was presented through regression models generated from the design of experiment (DOE) analysis for the results of hardness, ultimate tensile strength, and yield strength. A comparison between the results obtained and those reported in the literature is presented to illustrate the influence of process parameters, build environment, and powder characteristics on the quality of parts produced. The results obtained from this study could help to customize the part’s quality by satisfying their design requirements in addition to reducing as-built defects which, in turn, would reduce the amount of the post-processing needed.
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